Debunking the Myth: Can You Sweat Out a Fever?

Health Education
December 19, 2022
2 Min Read
Debunking the Myth: Can You Sweat Out a Fever?

If you've ever been ill with a fever, you may have heard the advice to sweat out a fever by donning more blankets or running around.

Although it's a common misconception, scientists disagree with the idea that sweating can help an illness leave your body more quickly. Making yourself work up a sweat won't hasten your recovery. Instead, it could exacerbate your symptoms and perhaps make you ill.

What you need to know about why you can't sweat off a fever and some effective home remedies for fever are provided here.

The Reason Bodies Sweat Out a Fever

You could notice that you start to perspire more than normal when you have a fever. In reality, your body is attempting to chill itself off by employing a process known as cooling evaporation.

The water droplets on the skin pull some of the heat from the body as they evaporate into the environment. Because of this, as your body temperature rises, you will naturally start to perspire. When your fever goes away, you also frequently perspire more.

When the body is actively fighting an illness, a fever may continue to climb and then fall. Your brain stops telling your body to heat up when a fever wears off and instead tells it to return to normal temperature. You begin to perspire more as your body tries to cool off when this transition occurs.

People could interpret this to suggest that sweating reduces fever, but in actuality, sweating causes fever to break, not the other way around.

Should You Sweat Out a Fever

Many people think that intentionally raising your body temperature and producing more perspiration might hasten your recovery from an illness. People frequently do this by exercising or putting on thick clothing or blankets. Sadly, this approach doesn't work. The fever won't go away faster if you start sweating in response to it.

This is because an immune system-boosting high body temperature is not your body's primary defense against a virus. Additionally, increasing your temperature might worsen your symptoms by causing you to experience uncomfortable side effects including headache, chills, and muscular pains.

Along with the pain and weariness the body feels from the illness, the temperature and perspiration can cause quite a bit of discomfort.

Dehydration is another danger, particularly if you try to exercise. Because your body loses fluids more quickly when you have a fever, you should concentrate on ingesting fluids rather than sweating them away. Exercise that is too intense will just make you sweat more, which can exacerbate your condition and use up the energy your body needs to fight infection.


Medication isn't usually necessary if your temperature is around 102°F and you aren't feeling uncomfortable symptoms like chills or body pains.

A painkiller, though, can provide relief for high fevers. Every 3 to 4 hours, switching between ibuprofen and acetaminophen is one strategy that is frequently advised. This prevents you from taking too much of either drug and prevents temperature spikes that may occur as one drug wears off.

Other natural treatments for fever reduction include:

  • Putting on lightweight attire
  • Bathing in a warm bath
  • Consuming a lot of liquids
  • Get as much rest as you can.

The majority of the time, a fever is only harmful and necessitates medical treatment if it exceeds 106 degrees F. However, you should speak with your doctor if your temperature exceeds 103°F, or 100.4°F in a newborn who is under three months old, to be sure you don't have a dangerous infection.

Seeing a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Having trouble breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Intense stomach discomfort
  • bad neck discomfort
  • Warm or red rashes
  • Urinating while burning

The majority of fevers should go down in a few days. Additionally, fevers that stay longer than this should be reported to your doctor.


Attempting to sweat out a fever will not help you recover from an illness more quickly or lower your temperature. Instead, try consuming drinks, getting some rest, and taking fever-reducing medicine. If you have any unsettling symptoms or if your temperature exceeds 103 degrees F, call your doctor's medical provider such as BASS Medical.